Denver Bar Association
April 2010
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MIA Judge found in basement, using social media to conduct proceedings

by Greg Rawlings

Rumors surrounding the disappearance of Sand County District Judge Dwayne Edward Effertype appear to be true. First, it must be noted that he has not entirely disappeared; he just refuses to be seen in public and has resorted to conducting all of his court sessions via social media. Working primarily out of the basement of his palatial lodge-style home (once featured in the annual Sand County Mansions guided home tour) in the shadows of Dog Mesa, he blows through his dockets via his MySpace site, Facebook and Twitter.

Accounts vary on why this usually gregarious bastion of the Bench retreated into near seclusion. Was it the unrequited love of a certain comely public defender? Or perhaps it was the presence of the District Attorney, Floyd T. Floyd, who sought to have the judge removed from the Bench when he discovered that the judge was the wag behind the blog "Morons I Deal with Every Effin Day." The blog was especially acrid in its discussion of the mental capabilities of the county’s most important elected official. Additionally, inside sources assert that the judge seriously started sliding into the slough of despond when he learned that his twin daughters Edie and Efie, while touring Europe in grand style, fell in with a cult. The cult worships the Seventh Proposition of Wittgenstein’s "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus," (the D.F. Sears and B.F. McGuinness translation).

Needless to say, oral arguments by attorneys using paralegals to Tweet their arguments in 140-character bursts have become de rigeur in Sand County. The judge responds to written motions on his MySpace page, where you can also hear the local PD punk band’s version of "Rubes in Robes," in its unedited version.

On his Facebook page you can find lists of his favorite movies ("The Verdict," "12 Angry Men," and, of course, "Caddyshack"); the songs he loves to sing while playing a classic 50s ukulele ("Folsom Prison Blues," "Maxwell’s Silver Hammer" and "Anarchy in the U.K.") and the book that changed his life, "Spy vs. Spy – The Complete Collection."

Even the national media have taken an interest in the antics of the one-time stunt pilot, cop and mayor of Dog Mesa. The news show "60 Minutes" sent a reporter to interview the judge, which he agreed to do only under the condition that it be conducted via the CU-Boulder alumni chat-line. National Public Radio was rebuffed when it refused to submit a pre-interview interview crib sheet with suggested answers.

Whatever the rationale for this unprecedented, quasi-exit from the Bench, appeals have started trickling toward Denver appellate judges. Allegations include violations of the due process and the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. An amicus curiae brief was filed by Douglas Bruce, complaining of a violation of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a.k.a. TABOR.

It’s unclear what drove the judge to the brink of what appears to be madness. Who really knows what is going on within that once-astute legal mind? In a cryptic Tweet from somewhere in Sand County, the judge quoted Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The law is made to govern men through their motives, and it must, therefore, take their mental constitution into account." So, is the judge an avatar of a new legal reality, or merely an aging crank? Maybe we’ll never really know.

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